Yesterday Bil posted on how we're relaunching Bilerico as The Bilerico Project. Soon Bil, Jerame, and I will be working in a new format, even though we've really already been changing for a while now. I've been looking through some of the oldest posts saved on this site (Bil's having me go through the entries that were posted before we had categories to add those in.... Thanks, Bil!) and is this site different. Bil and Jerame were posting most often then with Marla Stevens and a few people who are no longer with us. No one was checking for typos, they were using span tags for everything, and a "Quote of the day" was sometimes the only post for weeks. Yep, that was the Bilerico of yesteryear.
Well, the site's come a long way, and the changes have been more than just getting me on board as an editor. We have quite a few more contributors now, and not just from Indiana, but from all over the country - Virginia, New York, California, and other states - providing a whole lot more content for you all to read. And we have quite a few more contributors starting this coming week. We've been getting national blog and media attention from places like the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and the HRC webpage, making us one of the top 20,000 out of 71 million blogs on the internet, according to Technorati. Not bad for a state level, single issue blog.
But of course, like most change, the movement towards the relaunch has been gradual. We won Indiana's "Most Influential Political Blog" several weeks ago, just at the same time we were nominated for the Koufax Award for "Best Human Equality Blog" along with several other national level blogs. Bil and Jerame have kept the old design up but taken down the word "Indiana" from the banner. At the same time that we're on every Hoosier political mailing list you can dream of, I just got emailed by one of the new contributors last week asking what the connection was between our blog and Indiana.
But the relaunch has been in the works since I signed on back in February. The first thing I said to Bil after he asked me join the blog when he found Q-Bomb was, "I don't want to blog about Indiana." Nothing wrong with this state - it's just that I've only been living here since last summer, and I knew nothing about state politics. And my posting reflected that (except for me wanting to get Todd Rokita fired!). But in the past two months this relaunch has taken on a life of its own. We've been spending more time, more energy working on it, inviting contributors from all sorts of fields together (and they're all really cool!) and finding an enormously positive response to a project like this from all sorts of queers. It turns out that there are lots of people who want to blog but aren't able to devote the time to provide the enormous amount of content it takes to be considered frequently updating. And for these past two months I've been impressed with the power of a polite email and a clear vision.
But what is this all for? Well, if there's ever been a community with ideological divides, it's been ours. In fact, we're so diverse in thought, action, and identity, I usually say "queer communities" to stress the plain and simple fact that a lot of us don't talk with each other and know that we're not the same as one another. But here we have an opportunity not only to talk with each other (and heaven knows a good conversation on the direction of queer rights movements and our various cultures is long overdue) but also to show the world what we've always known ourselves: that there's more ideological diversity in the people who identify as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, queers, fags, dykes, bis, omnisexuals, transexuals, genderqueers, homosexuals, drag kings and queens, and sexual outlaws and gender renegades than the whole other 95% of the population put together.
And that is something worth working towards.